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Source: Staff reports. By Craig Whitlock and Laris Karklis/The Washington Post. Published on June 13, 2012.
North Africa Is A New Test -- New York Times
WASHINGTON — The bloody resolution of the hostage crisis in Algeria has brought into focus the broader challenges the United States and its allies face in confronting terrorist cells that have taken up sanctuary across northern Africa.
The United States and France have been courting Algeria for months, hoping to secure its support for an international effort to evict Islamic militants out of northern Mali.
But the militants’ advance south, which set off an appeal for the French military intervention by the Mali government, and the hostage-taking at a gas-producing complex in the Sahara to the north have caught the United States by surprise and prompted fresh White House vows to combat terrorism in the region.
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My Comment: This is a major reversal by the White House from comments made only a few days ago. Unfortunately .... it gives the impression to outside observers (this blogger included) that U.S. counter terrorism policies are now being developed "on the fly" in Africa.
Update: Al-Qaida flourishes in Sahara, emerges stronger -- AP